Statistically speaking, it’s likely that everyone will get into a car accident at least once in their lifetime, even if they drive perfectly. Being involved in an auto accident can be a traumatic experience, and it can be challenging to remember what steps to take to protect your legal rights. In the immediate aftermath of a collision, it’s vital to proceed carefully, as your actions can impact your ability to recover monetary compensation for your damages. One of the first steps you should take is to contact the police. Not only will taking this step save someone’s life, but it could also help you collect crucial evidence that can support and prove your claim. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact a determined Bronx Auto Accident Lawyer who can help you fight for the justice you deserve. Please continue reading to learn how to file a police report after an auto accident in New York. 

Do I have to file a police report after an auto accident?

In New York, drivers are required to report an accident under the following circumstances:

  • A person is injured or killed
  • There is damage to the property of one individual (including yourself) in the excess of more than $1,000

Essentially, vehicle collisions resulting only in property damage under $1,000 are not required to be reported to the police. You are only responsible for exchanging your driver’s license information, insurance, and vehicle registration with all parties involved. If the accident involved injury, death, or significant property damage, you will have ten days from the accident date to file the report. However, it’s best to have the police arrive at the scene, as they will investigate the circumstances of the collision and gather pertinent evidence that could support your claim.

What will a police report provide?

When the police arrive at the accident scene, they will create a written report that includes accurate crash-related details, statements from those involved in the accident and those who witnessed the collision, and other key information. While it’s not necessary to have a police report under certain circumstances, they can be beneficial as they provide a wide variety of information about the accident, including:

  • The date and time of the accident
  • The location of the accident
  • Details of the crash and the people. vehicles, the property involved
  • Contact and insurance information from all parties involved
  • A diagram of the accident (path of vehicles, point of collision)
  • Statements from drives, passengers, and witnesses
  • Weather conditions or other conditions that could have contributed to the cause of the accident
  • The officer’s observations and impressions at the scene
  • Any citations or violations of the law

Ultimately, after an auto accident, if you decide to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit, the information contained in the police report can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case as it can help determine who was at fault for the accident and how much compensation you can recover for accident-related losses.

For more information about what steps to take after an auto accident to safeguard your legal rights, contact a knowledgeable lawyer from the legal team at James Newman, P.C.